What is an Autoimmune Disease?

In short, it is a when the body mistakenly attacks itself. Your immune system is meant to protect you. In someone who has an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system attacks the very cells that are meant to protect them, their organs, and tissues.

 

What is Considered an Autoimmune Disease?

There are over 100 different autoimmune diseases, and up to 50 million Americans are impacted by autoimmune diseases each year. Some of the more talked about autoimmune diseases include Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Type 1 Diabetes, Hashimoto’s, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus.

 

What are the Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases?

Autoimmune diseases are multi-faceted beasts with over 200+ symptoms. These symptoms can silently compromise one’s health or dramatically disrupt day-to-day life. Even when symptoms are loud, we often normalize red flags. People start to believe their symptoms are in their head, while the sheer exhaustion of a daily, self-managed disease increases emotional anxiety, stress, and deregulates sleep patterns. Here are some of the more common symptoms of autoimmune diseases:

  • Fatigue

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Headaches

  • Migraines

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Allergies

  • Skin issues, rashes, acne

  • GI Issues: constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, frequent gas/belching, pain.

  • Blood pressure changes: usually low, but can be high

  • Low blood sugar 

  • Low grade or recurring fever

  • Malaise (generally feeling unwell for unexplained reason)

  • Thyroid problems

  • Unexplained weight changes, gain or loss

  • Susceptibility to infections

  • Brain fog

  • Memory problems and difficulty concentrating 

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Muscle weakness

  • Swollen glands

  • Yeast infections

  • PMS

 

How can nutrition help? More specifically, how can Nashville Autoimmune Nutrition help?

When in an autoimmune flare, inflammation is high and the immune system is in overdrive.  Having proper nutrition can help calm the immune system and drive inflammation down. I take a functional and integrative approach with my clients and create solutions that are comprehensive, personalized and sustainable. Changing the way you eat can help improve your quality of life, energy, and peace of mind.